Action plan for improving omnichannel customer experience and digital lead management
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Toimintasuunnitelma monikanavaisen asiakaskokemuksen ja digitaalisen liidien hallinnan kehttämiseksi
Customer experience is an established construct in business, however its strategic importance has been understood only recently. Customer experience starts long before the actual point of purchase, which is why it is important to manage the customer experience throughout the customer’s buying journey. Customer experience management has become a key focus area for companies as characteristics of value creation and customer relationship management have evolved through time towards customer engagement. Digitalization has also impacted the concept of customer experience and digital technologies have introduced a digital dimension to traditional customer experience, enabling a sense of omnichannel experience for customers. The purpose of this thesis is to study how lead nurturing through digital technologies can be utilized in creating an omnichannel customer experience in a business-to-business (B2B) environment and present an action plan of how to achieve the organizational state of being able to reach tangible benefits from omnichannel customer experience and digital lead management. This thesis consists of a theoretical part and an empirical part. The theoretical part is conducted as a literature review related to traditional conceptions of customer experience as well as digital customer experience enablers from strategy, culture, competence and technology perspectives. The theoretical part also includes a review into the concept of customer journey and its relations to omnichannel customer experience. The empirical part is carried out as a qualitative interview research, where various stakeholders from the target organization as well as external experts were interviewed to formulate an understanding of the current and desired target states of the thesis focus areas in the organization. Empirical study results were further analyzed to formulate action recommendations for the target organization based on both theoretical and empirical findings. The results of this study revealed that to be able to leverage digital lead nurturing for creating an omnichannel customer experience and achieve tangible results require major efforts from a traditional B2B company with low or moderate digital maturity level. The main issues are related to sufficient digital technologies and tools, competences as well as processes that need to be properly defined, managed and utilized to be able to manage leads digitally and nurture them efficiently as well as create a seamless omnichannel customer experience.